Alison Tickell and Ben Okri present the Arts and Culture award to the Festival of Thrift at the Observer Ethical Awards 2015, held at the V&A Museum in London

Alison Tickell and Ben Okri present the Arts and Culture award to the Festival of Thrift at the Observer Ethical Awards 2015, held at the V&A Museum in London

THE UK’s only national Festival of Thrift has scooped the award for Arts and Culture at Thursday’s (02 July 2015) prestigious Observer Ethical Awards 2015.

The annual weekend event takes place at Lingfield Point – the founding site of the Festival – and attracts 40,000 visitors all celebrating and sharing what it means to live in a sustainable way.

The Observer awarded this accolade to the Festival of Thrift for putting creative sustainability at the heart of the event and for its enviable national reach and solid local community engagement.

Festival Director, Stella Hall, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to accept this award on behalf of the Festival of Thrift team, our funders, supporters and our community. The Festival is all about showing people how reusing, recycling and upcycling can be fun, save money and benefit the environment at the same time. Last year’s event saw a phenomenal turnout and we are delighted to have its success recognised by the Ethical Awards 2015.

“We are developing a fantastic programme for 2015, which will bring together specially commissioned performances, delicious food, demonstrations, exhibitions and workshops offering frugal advice, tips and thrifty tricks to festival-goers of all ages at Lingfield Point.”

Wayne Hemingway MBE, Festival of Thrift co-founder, said: “Festival of Thrift is a wonderful celebration of thriftiness and sustainability that has truly captured the nation’s imagination, and each year visitor numbers have grown from strength-to-strength. To see the hard work and passion of the team behind the Festival celebrated on such a national scale as the Observer Ethical Awards is marvellous.”

The award-winning Festival of Thrift will launch in Darlington town centre on Friday 25 September 2015 before the festivities move on to Lingfield Point for a weekend of frugal fun on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 September 2015 at the unique business park. Originally built as the Patons and Baldwins wool factory, Lingfield Point is the perfect home for Festival of Thrift with thriftiness running deep throughout its 70 year history.

Sara Williams, Head of Marketing for Lingfield Point, said: “We’re proud to be the natural home of the Festival of Thrift – the Festival deserves to be recognised nationally and internationally for its approach to common sense living and its love of upcycling. Lingfield Point provides a perfect backdrop as an award-winning location with many of its buildings given a new lease of life through careful and creative regeneration techniques – creating offices with soul.

“Culture continues to be at the heart of this unique site’s regeneration and the Festival is a great example of our principles in practice.”

Stella added: “Thrift is more than a trend – it’s here to stay; now a culture and a set of values to live by. The Festival is certainly helping to get it engrained into the lives of people across the North East of England and beyond. Our thrifters are a community and the Festival is a great opportunity for them to get together and share what they do, while enjoying great entertainment and a free day out.”

Councillor Bill Dixon, Leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “We are so proud of this prestigious award which is a tribute to everything that is fantastic about the Festival of Thrift and its objectives of promoting and finding the fun in learning how to reuse, recycle and upcycle, saving both money and benefiting the environment. The Festival of Thrift is a cultural celebration for the people of the Darlington, the North East, the UK and beyond, which truly captures the spirit of Darlington, Darlington Partnership and Ingenious Darlington. The Festival has grown with support from the private, public and voluntary sector organisations and individuals and has truly put Darlington on the map.”

For more information on the Festival of Thrift 2015 and its programme visit the website at www.festivalofthrift.co.uk and register for updates.